An employee of the Justice Department of Dak Lak province give information on legal documents to ethnics in Cu Pui commune of Krong Bong district (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 53 ethnic minority groups in Vietnam had a total population of 13.39 million, accounting for 14.6 percent of the country’s population (91.71 million) as by July 1, 2015, a survey revealed.

The General Statistics Office (GSO) released the results of a 2015 socio-economic survey of the 53 minorities on September 29. The census covers 51 of the 63 provinces and cities.

There were more than 3 million ethnic minority households nationwide, a 2.2 percent anual rise between 2009 and 2015. Up to 89.6 percent of ethnics reside in rural areas, while 66.1 percent of the total population live in those areas.

There were more men than women among ethnics (50.3 percent and 49.7 percent), contrary to overall figures in Vietnam (men – 49.3 percent, women – 50.7 percent).

Life expectancy for ethnic minorities averages 69.9 years with men living 67.1 years and women 72.9 years on average.

The survey showed that almost 21 percent of ethnic people by the age of 15 were unable to read, write or understand a simple sentence in Vietnamese.

About 23.1 percent of the ethnic minority families were poor in 2015, 3.3 times higher than the general poverty rate of 7 percent.

However, nearly 94 percent of the surveyed families had electricity from the national grid while two-thirds of them had access to radio, and about 90 percent were able to watch TV.

As many as 81.9 percent of working ethnics (aged at least 15) worked in agricultural, fishery and aquacultural activities.

The monthly per capita income of ethnics was 1.16 million VND (52 USD) in 2015, much lower than the national average of 2.8 million VND (125.6 USD).

The data will serve the establishment of a database on the ethnic minorities in Vietnam to help with the making of socio-economic development policies for ethnic-inhabited areas, head of the GSO Nguyen Bich Lam said.-VNA